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Check these practical questions and answers about archiving research data at the UT. For other questions you can contact the data steward in your faculty.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             

  • Where can I archive and publish datasets?

    You can archive datasets in the UT facility Areda. Apart from that you can publish the dataset in a trusted repository, preferably 4TU.ResearchData or DANS.

  • What kind of data materials can I archive?

    You can archive all types of datasets, both as supportive material to a publication (PhD-theses, journal articles, etc.) and as stand-alone items.

    Datasets may be accompanied by related materials, such as

    • specific viewing and analysis tools (models, algorithms, scripts, analysis or simulation software, schemas)
    • laboratory or field notebooks, diaries
    • questionnaires, transcripts, codebooks
    • standard operating procedures and protocols
    • informed consent forms
  • Can I archive datasets at any moment during my research?

    Yes, as long as archiving fulfils the following requirements:

    • it is aimed at securing data authenticity, verification and/or reuse
    • the data are static, so not subject to changes anymore.
  • Should I archive all datasets?
  • Why can I best archive datasets in Areda?

    Areda is a UT facility especially for archiving static datasets. In Areda research groups can easily manage the datasets which need to be archived, not only for verification but also for internal reuse. Areda offers a cheap and reliable object storage for long-term, persistent and immutable archiving.

  • Can I archive datasets on the M- or P-drive?

    The M- or P-drive are not suitable for long-term persistent storage of data because they cannot guarantee that the datasets will remain immutable, which is a prerequisite for the authenticity of the data.

  • Can I start directly archiving datasets in Areda?

    You can start directly archiving datasets. Guidance is available on the Areda portal.

  • Does Areda issue a persistent identifier with the archived dataset?

    No, because Areda is not aiming at data publishing. When you also publish the dataset in a data repository (4TU.ResearchData, DANS, etc.) a persistent identifier, such as a DOI, will be issued. Read more about persistent identifiers in Making data FAIR.

  • Why can I best publish datasets in a trusted data repository?

    Trusted data repositories are certified because they abide to 16 requirements, such as

    • the explicit mission to provide access to and preserve data in its domain,
    • having a continuity plan to ensure ongoing access to and preservation of its holdings and
    • having adequate funding and sufficient numbers of qualified staff managed through a clear system of governance to effectively carry out the mission.
  • Are the datasets FAIR when archived in Areda and published in a trusted data repository?

    Whether datasets are FAIR highly depends on the way they are described by means of metadata and documentation, more than merely the location where they are archived or published. Look at Making data FAIR for more information.

  • As a UT bachelor or master student, can I archive datasets in Areda?

    UT bachelor and master students cannot archive datasets in Areda by themselves. If you need to archive datasets, ask your supervisor to add them to his or her group’s bucket in Areda. As you are in principle the dataset rights holder, check policies and guidelines of the research group, especially regarding use rights and licenses.

  • What data should I archive and publish?

    The table below presents what to archive and publish depending of the purpose of preservation.


    What to archive/publish


    Datasets underlying to research results in publications, plus analysis tools (scripts, etc.)


    All raw datasets relevant for further or other research, together with necessary scripts, models, software etc. and documentation


    Datasets which are refined for publication, together with additional documentation

  • How can I archive personal or other confidential data?

    The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) requires that personal data (any information related to an identified or identifiable natural person) are not kept longer than necessary to achieve the purposes for which they are processed. If longer preservation is needed, anonymization is preferred.

    When datasets contain personal data, please be aware that file encryption is needed when archiving. Instruction about file encryption is offered during the Areda archiving process.

  • How can I encrypt data files in Areda?

    Areda offers you information about encryption and instructions about tools to be used for encrypting data files with personal or other confidential content. Recommended tools can be downloaded and installed by yourself. Please, be aware that encryption demands some extra preparation time.

  • Can data subjects demand that their data are to be erased?

    If the data subjects agreed in the participation of your research project, it means that they implicitly agreed in archiving the research data. Therefore, they cannot demand that their data should be erased before the end of the retention period.

    In case data subjects want to exercise their right, they can contact the Data Protection Officer (DPO).

  • Which metadata and documentation should I add when archiving datasets in Areda?

    General metadata can be added in the UT Research Information System. Choose ‘Dataset’ and fill in the information asked, such as Title, Description, Date of data production, Contributors, Publisher, DOI, Access information, Temporal coverage, and Geo location.

    Other metadata, and documentation, can be included in the README file which should accompany the dataset and be added to the description in UT Research Information System (guidance / template).

    Metadata and documentation elements




    author, contributor, title, abstract, keywords, measurement type, project ID, geomapping, time period, subject area

    software scripts, instrument settings, methodology, experimental protocol, codebook, laboratory notebook


    data format, date, size, access rights, preservation period, persistent identifier, license for use.

    user agreements, provenance (description of the origin of the data), terms of use


    related content, related projects, version

    database scheme, relations between files, table of content

  • Which formats should I choose for the data files?

    Use general, non-proprietary formats to prevent loss of access to files and to enhance the chance of future interpretability of the data. Preferred file formats are e.g. PDF, Plain text, TIFF, FLAC, CSV or XML (see also extended list of formats from DANS or from 4TU.ResearchData).

  • Is there a maximum volume of datasets I can archive in Areda?

    As yet a maximum volume of archived datasets has not been determined.

  • How much time the process of archiving will take?

    Apart from preparing the dataset itself and the documentation by writing a README file and adding metadata, the processing time will largely be determined by the size of the zipped data file to be uploaded and the capacity of the internet connection. In case you will upload a 50 GB zipped data file, it may take at least one hour.

    Warning: Make sure your PC or laptop does not go into standby, sleep or hibernate mode during the upload.

  • Can I replace an archived dataset for a new version?

    No. Once a dataset is archived, it will remain unchanged. It is a so-called immutable object preserved for at least 10 years. You can archive a newer version separately and indicate the relation with the older version in filename and documentation.

  • What are the costs charged for archiving datasets in Areda?

    No costs will be charged. It will be paid from central budget.

  • What is the storage location of the datasets when archived in Areda?

    Data are stored on ISO 27001 and NEN 7510 certified servers at the University of Twente. The back-up facility is hosted by Surf, data centers are located in Utrecht and Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

  • Who can access the datasets archived in Areda?

    Default, all members of a research group have access to the datasets in the bucket of the group. Access to data files can be restricted by means of encryption.

  • What is the preservation period of the datasets when archived in Areda?

    Default, datasets will be preserved in Areda for 10 years. In the near future it will be possible to indicate other preservation periods.

  • What happens with the archived datasets in Areda after preservation period has expired?

    Shortly before expiring of the preservation period, the research group receives a message to decide whether the dataset must be deleted. Prolongation of the preservation period may not be free of charge.

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